How To Launch a Podcast
Ouf, the ever-pressing podcast launch. It seems so simple, you record an episode, edit it, and publish it. Then, podcasters around the world flock to it, downloads skyrocket, sponsorship money starts rolling in, and BOOM, you quit your job. You’re now a full-time podcaster.
Fortunately or unfortunately, it doesn’t normally work like that.
Podcast launches are a really important part of your podcast journey. With a proper one, you’ll have some solid momentum and be in a motivating place to keep cranking out episodes. With a crappy launch, it’ll be tough going moving forward. It’s not that it will be harder to keep producing episodes. The hard part is staying motivated when you realize nobody cares about your podcast.
In this article, I’m going to teach you how to launch a successful podcast.
A Lot Of Podcasters Have No Launch Strategy
The idea of starting a podcast is intimidating. If you’re new to podcasting you’re likely nervous about how you sound and or look when you’re mic’d up and on camera. You’re probably also confused about RSS Feeds, what equipment to buy, how to edit, and how to book guests. The list goes on and on. There’s so much to learn that coming up with a strategy to launch your podcast can easily fall by the wayside.
Fast forward a few months after figuring that stuff out and you publish your first episode. But, nobody is listening. You got excited AF because you created this awesome project and a few weeks later all that excitement just kind of fizzled away because nobody cares about your podcast.
Putting In Work On The Front End
To have a successful launch you have to put in some relational work before you even think about recording episodes. Start building relationships and having conversations with people on social media. Show an interest in what others are posting. Get excited about the things you see your peers accomplishing. Congratulate them and let them know you see them.
In turn, some of these people will start to care about what’s going on in your world. This is going to be huge when you start putting out content and begin the process of launching a podcast.
You don’t need to be promoting the podcast yet. Hell, you probably don’t even completely know what you want to podcast about, you just like the idea of maybe becoming a podcaster.
I learned from my buddy Nick at Nine-Five to Freedom that a good way to start your podcast journey is by creating some really simple content around what you THINK you want your podcast to be about. No need to start getting into the weeds and start pumping out content that’s super focused on your podcast idea. At this stage, you want to just test your idea out and see if it’s something that’s resonating with people in your social media circles.
When you’ve been supporting and interacting with people on social media you’d be surprised at how people return the favor and start engaging with your content.
Interest Begets Interest
What you put out into the world, you get back. At least that’s how I operate online and offline.
So, like people’s posts. Share their reels. Slide into their DM’s and tell them you’re digging what they’re putting out. Be genuine though. Get involved with people and content that you actually enjoy.
After all, the back and forth, and connecting with other humans is what social media was designed for. I know I know, it certainly doesn’t feel like that anymore. However, you can use social media to add value to others and yourself. But you have to put in the time.
People aren’t going to come to you. They don’t care about you unless you give them a reason to care. You have to get involved with what they’re doing and show interest in it. In turn, they’re going to support you. Not everyone will engage with you, but you’ll be in a better position to have a successful podcast launch if you’ve built your network.
Sadly, most podcasters aren’t building relationships prior to their launch. They’re looking for an easy way to get 10,000 downloads right out of the gate. A lot of them are focused on money. I don’t judge, I’m a capitalist too. But by adding value and serving others, you’re stacking the deck in your favor.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t be doing this with the intention of trying to gain something. It’s about community building.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Launching a Podcast
- Do you truly want to add value to people or do you just want an audience you can monetize?
- Why should people care about what you’re putting out?
- Are you willing to build one on one connections before and after your podcast launches?
- What are your podcasting goals?
- What’s the purpose of the podcast?
It’s important to get really clear on these things prior to launch.
Know Your Why
It’ll take some time to figure out, but once you genuinely know why you want to start a podcast you’ll have your guiding light, aka your North Star.
It’s important to have a North Star to guide you because times will get tough. There will be times when you’re not getting as many downloads as you wanted, when you can’t come up with guests or episode ideas, or when life punches you in the face, you’ll keep pushing forward because your ‘why’ will be bigger than your frustration.
When you don’t have that ‘why’ you don’t have any frame of reference to measure your progress. When you do have a ‘why’ it’s easier to look back on how far you’ve come and realized that you enjoy climbing mountains.
Here’s a blog I wrote on finding your podcasting ‘why’. Give Your Podcast Direction By Defining Your ‘Why’ Before You Get Started.
You’ll Need Some Equipment
When it comes to equipment you don’t need a ton of fancy stuff. Don’t go and drop hundreds of dollars on equipment to launch your podcast. Here’s a list of the Best Podcast Equipment For 2023. There’s a ton of affordable options on this list.
Meanwhile, here are some things to get you up and running.
These are both USB microphones that plug right into the computer. They sound great, don’t let the price point fool you.
There’s nothing shabby about Apple’s headphones.
A Place To Record Your Podcast
- Riverside.fm – I’m a Riverside affiliate and may earn a commission if you signup through this link. It doesn’t cost you more.
Riverside.fm is an online virtual recording studio. It functions similarly to Zoom, but was built specifically for podcasters. With Riverside.fm you can record up to 4K video, and lossless audio.
A Place To Edit Your Podcast
Edit audio by editing text. Descript transcribes your audio file, you can then edit the audio file by editing the transcript.
I don’t want you to get so caught up in equipment that you never launch your podcast. By using the links above you can affordably, and intuitively start podcasting.
Time To Announce The Podcast Launch
At this point, you’ve built some rapport and people are taking an interest in the things you’re talking about. You’ve been creating some basic content around your podcasts subject matter. You’re now ready to make your big announcement.
Instagram is a great tool for this. The Instagram polls and stickers inside stories come in really handy because you can ask your audience this question, “Hey Everyone! I’m thinking about launching a podcast, who is interested?”
Since people have been investing time into what you’ve been sharing the past few months, they’re more likely to interact with those story posts. This will give you a good idea of who will listen.
Hopefully at this point you’ve got an interested group of people. It’s now time to record a podcast trailer. You didn’t think you were going to start knock out episodes, did you? Like movies, you need to create a trailer to build some buzz.
Launching a Podcast With a Trailer Episode
A trailer is one of the most beneficial pieces of content that a podcaster has in their arsenal. Your podcast trailer is a piece of marketing content that lets new people know about your podcast. They’ll learn what your show is about, what to except from it, where to find it, etc… This is initally what’s going to hook them in.
You’ll want to drop your trailer several weeks before you release actual episodes. Be sure to include the launch date of the podcast in your trailer.
Here’s 2 good trailer formats to follow:
- This is a show about X, where I teach you how Y will get you Z results
- This is a show about X, and it’s interesting because of Y and Z
The cool thing about a trailer is that it can be repurposed and continually blasted out on your social media channels. This is in addition to dropping it prior to your launch.
You can continually use it over and over again because that’s what’s going to ultimately attract new listeners and bring growth to the show. Your trailer is going to help people determine whether or not they think your show is interesting.
Edit it in different ways. Make variations. Shorten it, film it, chop it up. Post the different versions of it and sprinkle them across your social channels a few times a month.
Don’t worry about the same people seeing or hearing it over and over. The algorithm doesn’t allow everyone to see everything you post.
Launching With Several Episodes At Once
The jury is out on the exact number of episodes to launch with. But, in my opinion you want to publish a minimum of three episodes on game day. I’d also reccomend being about a month ahead on recordings. This way, after you launch with 3 episodes, you’ve got a months worth of future episodes in the can. Get ahead, it’ll help with production stress.
There are several reasons for doing this. If someone listens to an episode and they’re curious, but not totally sold on your podcast, they have a couple more episodes that they can dive into to see if they dig the podcast.
If they love the show they’ll have a couple episodes to binge. At this point they’ve hopefully followed, or subscribed to the show as well. This will spike your download numbers because when you follow or subscribe to a podcast the full catalog of episodes get automatically downloaded to your device.
Give them enough of a sample to get a good taste.
Keep The Momentum Going
Once the podcast is officially launched, you don’t want to stop the conversations you’ve been having. Keep engaging with new accounts, keep finding new potential listeners, and continue nurturing the relationships you’ve already built.
DM people links to the show, and ask them what they liked about an episode.
Let’s be honest, nobody is going to follow through if you make a post about your podcast and tell them the link to the show is in your bio. It’s best to personally share your podcast.
Plus, if you do this you get a little transparency as to who’s actually listening. It’s a great check in system.
*As an Amazon Associate I may earn a commission if you choose to purchase anything through my links. This doesn’t cost you anything extra and helps me keep pumping out content.*
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